Monday, June 23, 2008

Assorted pictures at the conference

Opening scene. The blogger was only a back bencher!

Dr Peng & Dr Marco combined to answer a difficult thermo question! ;-)

Participants getting ready for group photography

Dr Peng with the bunting carrying his name

The council of associates in a meeting at the restaurant - Hideo-san, Peter and Brent.

The harpist during dinner. She told me the harp can be carried around in her Kancil.

Dr Peng, Peter, Puan Fauziah et al at the dinner.

Some of my international guests at the dinner hosted by this blogger at Saloma.

My Japanese guests on stage with the Saloma dancers. The conference was practically over by then.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Would there be another (popular) Equation of State in my lifetime?

So I met the other half of the 'creator' very popular Peng-Robinson Equation of State.

Years ago - eighteen years ago to be precise, I had met with Prof Dr Robinson at the HYSIM Users Conference in Banff Canada. Being the shy engineer that I was at that time - despite representing a big oil company at an international conference, I only took the picture of him while he was dancing with his wife at the conference dinner.

This time around as part of the organizing committee, I had the chance to pick Dr Peng up at the airport, take him out for dinner for a couple of times, and had numerous chats with him especially when everybody else was a bit shy to approach him.

I had asked him during dinner whether there would be another equation of state in my lifetime and whether anyone would ever come up with one. This is a philosophical question after he had told me how he had come up with his EOS as part of an assignment by Dr Robinson.

The other question which I didn't get to ask him was whether there would be an equation of states which would be applicable to all systems; one equation which would describe everything. Kind of the holy grail of 'the theory for everything' for pysicists!

Just imagine, coming up such equation which would be used through out the world, day in day out by chemical engineer, in only 7 months.

I would have to give you his answer in the next entry.

Nonetheless, I believe Dr Peng was a bit surprised to see the adulation and respect given to him by the conference attendees. Quite a few of us we simply in awe of him when they came up to meet up with him; I was privileged to see that as I was with Dr Peng most of the time. Dr Peng, being the very humble person that he is, was dismissive whenever I teased him about his legion of 'fans'.

No doubt many of the young chemical engineers present at the conference left with indellible mark in their mind. I do hope that that will give them enough impetus to try and emulate him in their chosen fields.

This blogger with Prof Dr Peng and Prof Dr Satyro - both Canadians at the end of the conference. Our chemical engineers should try to emulate the standard set by these two renowned thermodynamists. This was once in a lifetime chance for me to have this picture. I was told by my Japanese counterpart that our Japanese guests specifically attended the conference to hear Dr Peng's speech!


I wonder why we (Malaysia) are not producing world-class engineers. This blogger know he is not. For all the shortcoming Dr Satyro has been telling me about universities and education in Brazil, he is a product of Uni of Sao Paolo before completing his PhD at the Uni of Calgary. But what have we, as Malaysian chemical engineers come up with that would make us known to the world?

I can't think of any.

What's your opinion on this Prof (at Newcastle)? What should we do to produce world class engineers with our own product lines to sell to the world?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Doa untuk bapak

I did not plan to write a tribute for father's day actually.

After all, bapak died 24 years ago, and no matter what I write in my blog, nothing would change with or without a tribute to him. Words can be cheap, I must admit, and I would have to think hard when was the last time I recite the surah Yaasin for his soul!
I am guilty; oh so guilty.

Until this morning while I was driving to meet Peter at Le Meridien with Klasik Nasional hot on airing songs as a tribute to all the dads in Malaysia. And then the song Doa untuk Ayah by Rina Rahman was filling the airwaves in my car.

Suddenly I was overwhelmed by emotion; the song is a very sad song. It is a fitting tribute to him on this day meant for us to remember his role in shaping our lives. I thought then I have to write a word or two. Yes, it has been a long time since I last saw him alive and talked to him. There was no goodbye. All of the sudden, he was gone.

I have difficulty trying to dig more stories I can think of him. After all, I didn't spent my high school time at home and not my university years anyway; so whatever time left that I had spent with him at home is fast fading away. May be as the years go by I would be able to write a story or two about him.

My biggest regret is the fact that I have lost all the letters he wrote to me while I was in Australia. I had it with me up to the year prior to my assignment to Houston and then it disappeared. Dad would write to me without fail monthly.

And I have lost them all.

Well, on this day, I would like to remember him. Of a big guy with a songkok on his head without fail. Of his deeds and advice and how he led his life.

I am sorry, bapak, for I am not the pious son that you deserved. I do wish I am, but deep in me I know I am not and that you would be disappointed in me if you are still alive today.

"Ya Allah, cucuri lah rahmatMu keatas ruhnya, dan masukkan dia kedalam golongan orang-orang yang engkau redhai. Rahmatilah dia sebagaimana dia telah menjaga kami semua semasa kami kecil dulu."



I can't seems
to find the lyric. But I am posting them here and will update once I have the full lyric of the song by Rina Rahman
Walau telah lama
kau hilang dimata
Didikan dan kemanjaan
kau curahkan pada ku
bagai sinar alam maya
menyuluh jalan hidupku
tiap solat ku iringkan doa restu

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Reflection

I am tired, and I am exhausted!

I am thankful though that God has given me enough for me to continue to live in comfort. Last week, He has given me another.


But it is really putting me under a lot of pressure. Tension, according to Malaysian lingo. Stres kata orang Indonesia. I must admit that they have correctly chosen the proper term to describe it.

Office expansion is foremost in my mind now; I need to hire engineers. Not one or two more; perhaps more than five, perhaps ten more.

A conference is looming too next week at Le Meridien co-hosted with one multinational giant. Prof Dr Peng, a legend in chemical engineering profession is coming as a plenary speaker. Prof Dr Peng is the co-author of the Peng-Robinson Equation of States which is used very widely in the industry. in 1990, this blogger had met with Prof Dr Robinson during a conference in Banff Calgary (he passed away in 2000). Now I am meeting the other half of the pair who changed the face of Chemical engineering with this 1976 PhD thesis.

As an organizing committee member, yours truly has to pick him up at KLIA on Sunday afternoon. And during the conference on Tuesday, yours truly is supposed to chair one session. He also has to host the dinner on Wednesday night.

In the same breathe, he is supposed to expand his business activities beyond the shores of Malaysia.

Everything seems to be happening at the same time. It is a nice problem to have - three years ago I was wondering where the next meal was going to come from, but it is still a problem I need to solve.

I am breathless.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Duet of the two brothers

This is the very reason I love music and the very reason I love my two kids so much. Look at the two of them so full of concentration and in harmony with each other playing the PRamlee's classic Getaran Jiwa as a duet.

For two teenagers to be proficient with such oldies, despite it being a classic, at this time and age, is close to unthinkable. To be honest, for teens to be seen performing such repertoire, it could be mind boggling.

For for these two brothers, it was an honour to be playing his songs at the wedding. It provided a touch of elegance to the wedding and differentiate this wedding from many others.

And I got to record this moment in time in my own blog.

As I have said before, yours truly was a self appointed music director for the wedding this time around. It is an easy task, and he got to choose his own music.

The dad-cum-music director with his two prodigies ;-) getting ready during the wedding. All dressed up for the occasion.

Aah, surely beats listening to other people's selection. ;-)

The only thing that he had to do was to fork out some devalued ringgit in his wallet to buy guitar amps for Akmal.
Chemical engineer turned sound engineer. Beyond turning the knobs, he knows nothing else about sound and music. He was advised to not give up his day job! ;-)

And he has his kids to thank for, for they provided the wedding reception with a touch of elegance with live renditions of some of the more memorable PRamlee's love songs for the bride and the groom and the guests. That statement was not mine but told to me by one the guests.

The bride and the groom listening to the song performed by the Brother Two.
During the luncheon, Akmal had performed solo on the romantic song "Romanza" on guitar, followed by duet with this brother on violin on "Getaran Jiwa", "Bahasa Cinta" (or Tiada Kata Secantik Bahasa), "Bunga Melor" and "Tunggu Sekejap" before Arif doing a piano solo on "Winter Sonata."

For the guests, they had performed Uda dan Dara, Madah Pujangga, Tunggu Sekejap, Ibu a duet with Akmal performing a solo on Milongga.

This one for the general guests.

We had inquiries from the guests about this two brothers and how much would be their fee not knowing that they are part of the wedding family. May be they could be doing gigs at wedding as a hobby and getting paid for them. I had my Std 3 teacher Cikgu Faridah congratulating us on the excellent repertoire. "Now I know why you all went to the Idris Sardi's concert," she said. She later confessed to me that she had been trying to get her childrens to take up music but to no avail. I told her I didn't push them, but they took up music at their own accord.

Both of them know how to play two instrument, the other instrument being piano.

Thank you Arif and Akmal; you should know that I am so proud of the two of you.

Great job guys.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The faces at the Wedding

Now that we have gotten the pics of the bride and the groom out of the way hahaha, let's look at the supporting crew who had been playing their role in no small part in making the wedding reception a success.

My three nieces had even done their hairs for the occasion! Nyaris tak colour blond for Alyaa and Sophia.

Where would wedding be without the kids and the bunga telur gals?

And what good would be a wedding reception without having relatives and friends gracing the occasion, right? We are pleased with the turnout and are thankful that they had come.

Sometimes wedding, as I have said before is a good way to meet up with relatives. We should have at least
one wedding a year.

Mak with her sis and bro in law. One of the rare occasion that she was able to get up.

Having their meals at the wedding

Pak Cik Rosli

PC Rus

This is Alif with his dad.

Uncle Jabar sorting out Akmal's samping. Mana ada kids nowadays yang tau ikat samping!

The cousins

Madiha and friends

The youngest of the Hariri family - Fatimah

Again, the cousins enjoying the occasion

Selamat Pengantin Baru, Mas & Hidir

So another one of my sis got married yesterday.

To break away with tradition, this time around, the wedding reception was held at our eldest's in Ampang. It was a bit odd as all the previous wedding receptions, starting with a brother way back in 1986, had always been at our family home in Taiping.

Since that first wedding, we have had 8 weddings there including yours truly.

So it was strange to have a wedding in the Klang Valley, knowing fully well that we are Taipingites through and through. But with no one living or working in Taiping anymore, and with Mak jet setting everywhere nowadays, it would only be prudent that we do it here.

It turned out to be a great decision with the hefty gasoline price increase on Thursday!

Our sis Mastura works at Pan Pacific Glenmarie as a pastry chef.

It started off well at around 12 pm when the uncles and aunties from as far as Taiping started arriving. Soon the guest relatives practically filled up the guest tents in no time. I found this quite rare to have all the relative having lunch under the same tents.

At one time, it looks like the sky was going to fall upon us, but it stopped as soon as it got started. Thanks God for that. I heard from the grapevine that someone had thrown the bride's cloth on the roof to stop the rain! ;-)

At least, itu kata orang tua-tua. I am not sure if there is any scientific explanation to be honest

The wedding itself was a simple wedding, with no bersanding ceremony.

To be honest, most of the arrangement and coordination were done by our eldest sis Shamsiah. I honest don't know how she was able to pull this off. Mak with her travel schedules the preceding months had taken the toll on her and she had been hospitalized at Taiping DH since Monday. She may not have been fit to travel to KL for the wedding, but I guess she had resolved that she would be there for it.

And she was there, during the wedding, except that she was unwell enough to be in the thick of the actions during the reception. Most of the time, she was in her room resting. But in any case, I am glad she is around, as the wedding would not have been a proper wedding without her around.

Yours truly didn't do much except that he was the self appointed music director. We had prepared some wedding songs to be played, but other than that this time around we had some nasyid and keroncong selections to be played. This is easy.

The kids performed a series of songs as a duet (violin and guitar) for the wedding.

The food was good. I was told that the food was light and easy. The meat dish I guess was a favourite to many. In the end, many of us had second helping late on as we didn't have the opportunity early on.

Well thanks to my two bro photographers Zali and Fadhil we have some of the most beautiful wedding pictures taken on our side of a wedding.

From my perspective - one down, two more to go.

Let's enjoy them here.
The bride sedang disolek
The bride in her room, having her pic taken by his bro photographer and with his aunt
The groom arrival close to 2 pm amidst the kompang sounds.
The pengantin spread - it has to be with ayam golek.
The groom's family
The host Shamsiah and Jabar with the couple
Direnjis-renjis dipilis
The newly married couple with mak in her room. I am sure she is glad that Mas is now married. But she is too weak at this moment to bask in the euphoria. Her trips to Australia followed by another Umrah trip are taking the toll on her strength.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Mee Combat anyone?

Put on your war gear, and let's head to Taiping for a dose of mee combat.

For all the shortcomings you can ever think of of Taiping, one can never deny that food is high on the list of things to look for when you are in town.

And as far as the shortcoming of Taiping is concerned, there is none actually. Nadda, nil, zilch, zero.

I went back to Taiping to visit Mak who was hospitalized last Tuesday and after the visit, I took the opportunity to re-visit my favourite food stall. I have been eating here since my primary schooldays, and I guess my bro and I would look forward to be having our meals here everytime we went to follow bapak with his tabligh activities on Friday night.

Sambil menyelam minum air. Or in the case, sambil menziarah, makan mee rebus!

Mee Combat at the cashier's market is as famous as the Taiping Lake Garden.

The Mee Rebus was amongst the best in Taiping, as good as the one in Assam Kumbang. In fact, I would rate it to be amongst the best in Malaysia, if not the best.

Finish, fenito in 5 minutes.

Or at least, it was the best until it was overtaken by Mail Penang Mee Rebus in Melawati.

But that's a different entry.

Mamak Jabardeen has been manning this stall for as long as I can remember. I was in primary school having my mee rebus here and now 40 years later, he is still cooking my mee rebus everytime I return to Taiping.

Apparently he went to school at St Louis School, behind the Convent School, from 1958-1963.

Unfortunately, the school no longer exist today.

From 1964, he started manning the stall runned by his father, who later went back to India, and his uncle. He was paid Rm25 a month as a teen then.

Only in the 1970s he was able to get his own license.

He knew bapak very well. In fact I know that bapak used to have a buku 555 with him. Knowing we kids loved mee rebus very much, he would at times took us there after the tabligh session knowing fully well he may not have the money to pay mamak Jabardeen.

Masuk buku, he would at times told mamak Jabardeen, and he would without fail nodded his head.

Apparently mamak Jabardeen has one children graduating from UKM recently, I guess all from his mee rebus business.

Taiping's Mee rebus. Don't forget to visit mamak Jabardeen and have a taste of Taiping Mee Rebus @ Mee Combat. You would not go wrong.

I should have asked him why he named it Mee Combat. He must have loved the war series very much or he must be a fan of Vic Morrow.